The impressive season of Aiden Grace has been crucial to Glenorchy’s success so far this season.
Grace, who kicked 59 goals for St Mary’s in the Geelong Football League last season, returned to his home state for the 2019 season and hasn’t missed a beat, becoming a crucial member of this Glenorchy side, while also claiming the Lefroy Medal as Tasmania’s best player in the U25 Representative game earlier in the year.
With 46 goals from 17 matches, Grace leads the race for the Hudson Medal with a round to play, with North Launceston skipper Brad Cox-Goodyer hot on his heels with three majors.
Grace was again crucial in Glenorchy’s win over Lauderdale, booting four goals, but a late injury to his leg sent big concerns through the Glenorchy camp.
Grace gives us an update on his injury, shares his thoughts on Glenorchy’s season and his Hudson Medal hopes.
A scary incident late in the game, Aiden, what is the diagnosis?
“In a marking contest Truppy (Edward Trupp) came down on my Achilles quite hard and it was a big scare.
“I was in quite a bit of pain but it’s good to be walking on it again now.
“I’ll take it day by day, but it’s getting better and am walking around. I’ll go in confident that I’ll play this week and just let the physio do their work and determine whether I can play.”
How big of a win was that for the group? Must be a good feeling to have locked in third spot and the double chance?
“We talked about it before the game. We knew this was a really important game to secure that third spot. The boys were real;ly excited for it and it was good to get an all-round four quarter performance.
“We have had a few injuries throughout the year but we look to be coming right at the pointy of the season. We should hopefully get a few players back this week – Sam Rundle potentially and Matt Dilger will hopefully come in.”
How do you prepare for playing a side like North Launceston? To have the top two in succession must be great preparation for finals?
“North Launceston are a quality side, just like Lauderdale are. They will need to travel down to play us in a night game, so it will be a tough game but it is the perfect dress rehearsal for the finals.
“We will go in and do exactly what we did against Lauderdale on the weekend and prepare as best we can.”
The group has been hampered by injury this season but still looks to continually find a way to get up when their backs are against the wall. What can you put that down to?
“Everyone plays their role when they come in.
“We don’t expect people to come in and get 30 possessions or kick five goals. Everyone just comes in, plays their role and puts pressure on the opposition to turn the ball over. It’s the hard work and the pressure of the boys coming in that reaps rewards.
What would the Hudson Medal mean to you?
“It’s not something I’d thought about.
“Brad Cox-Goodyer is a quality player and to kick 50 goals from the midfield is an amazing effort and a credit to him.
“I don’t look into it too much and just take it week by week so we can hopefully get some more team success.
“It would be a massive honour to go up alongside some of the big forwards of the competition. It would be really exciting but I’m focusing on just keeping a lid on it.”
Callen Daly and Zac Webster both look to be in some scintilating form at the moment. It must be great to play alongside players like that each week?
“Yeah Cal is quite exciting to play with. Obviously it’s good to take a nice mark but when you can bring it to ground to players like Cal at your feet to kick nice goals from the pocket, is really exciting. He brings a real buzz to the group and obviously spent time in the midfield on the weekend and played a vital role for us. He is a quality player and the boys love having him around.
“Zac has just got his body right at the right end of the season. He’s playing some terrific footy and produces run off half back while shutting down good forwards as well. If he is playing that role, we are winning the game.”